As an Army veteran who truly appreciated the military newspaper, the Stars and Stripes, when I was in Vietnam, I was sorry to hear that Trump & Co. are suspending funding for the one publication that connects with military veterans around the world. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the funding for the newspaper was being suspended to pay for higher priority issues. What higher priority issues?
I remember after the Tet Offensive in 1968 I was shocked to read in the Stars and Stripes that President Lyndon Johnson had approved 300 bombing targets, but refused to permit the bombing of 60 key targets including Hanoi and Haiphong. My Army buddies and I wondered why we were risking and losing our lives when it then seemed clear that we were not trying to win the war. Years later I said, thank you Daniel Ellsberg, for the Pentagon Papers confirming what we soldiers suspected.
The suspension of the funding for the paper saddens me, but it doesn’t surprise me because the Stars and Stripes has always been surprisingly independent of politics, and everyone knows that President Donald Trump opposes independent journalism, objectivity and the truth.
Michael J. Gorman,
Editor’s note: The writer served as an Army sergeant in Vietnam in 1967-68.